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Best Places to Take Your Dog in Victoria

Posted on July 12, 2021

With ample access to outdoor spaces in close proximity to the city centre, Victoria is super dog-friendly. We’ve put together a list of some of the best places to explore with your canine counterpart on your next visit to Victoria. Note: Please make sure to carefully read any signage regarding on-leash and off-leash areas, and always pick up after your pooch! 


Goldstream Provincial Park  

About a 20-minute drive from downtown Victoria, Goldstream Provincial Park offers many options for those with dogs, whether you prefer to walk on a level trail or try an adventurous hike up Mount Finlayson. You can also check out CRD Regional Trails for more information on Victoria's trail network.

dogs in victoria
 Image: @bradit0 on Instagram


Sandcut Beach

One of the most scenic beaches in all of Greater Victoria, Sandcut Beach features a natural waterfall caused by undercutting of sandstone at the shoreline. It's situated between French Beach Provincial Park and Jordan River along the Pacific Marine Circle Route, about 30 kilometres west of Sooke. From the parking area, the beach can be accessed via a 10-minute hike along a rugged wooded trail. 

Tip: You’ll want to bring your camera along for this one.  

dogs in victoria
Image: @westcoast_koda on Instagram


Mount Work/Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

If you’re after a challenging hike with views that make it all worthwhile, head to Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. There are a couple of options for hikes in this area, including Mount Work and Jocelyn Hill. Make sure to check the driving directions so you know where to park, and follow all trail signage along the way. 

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Image: Tessa Humphries


Mount Douglas Park

Towering cedar trees and wide, easy trails are a feature of Mount Doug Park, where many locals choose to walk their dogs every day. The park offers several well-marked trails with varying levels of intensity, so you can stay low and enjoy the forested surroundings, or hike to the top (about 20 minutes straight up) for a 360-degree view from the top.

Tip: If you don’t want to hike to the top, you can also drive up and park near the lookout at the summit. 

dog victoria
Image: @michellebutterfield on Instagram


Willows Beach

Located in the heart of Oak Bay, Willows Beach is a family-friendly beach with a big playground, open fields, and expansive beach perfect for roaming free. Dogs may be off-leash from October 1 through April 30, though they are not permitted at the park during the rest of the year.

dog victoria
Image: @bellamariebrown on Instagram


Downtown Sightseeing 

If your pup doesn’t mind being around the hustle and bustle of downtown, there are lots of great places to explore near the city centre. Grab coffee to-go from Nourish Kitchen & Cafe, then try a walk from the Pendray Inn & Teahouse in James Bay, along the waterfront past the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Royal BC Museum, and Fairmont Empress. You’ll get lots of iconic photo ops along the way. 

dog victoria
Image: @alfrescodog on Instagram


The Butchart Gardens 

Did you know that dogs are permitted at The Butchart Gardens, as long as they remain on-leash? Bring your dog along to see the sights and smell the roses. 

Insider tip: Please leave your dogs at home between 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., from December 1 - January 6. Find more on The Gardens' pet policy here

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Image: @auri_means_sunny on Instagram


Dallas Road (Clover Point to Ogden Point Breakwater)

Possibly the most iconic dog walk in Victoria is along Dallas Road. Start at Clover Point (there’s ample parking) and stroll along the meandering path toward the Ogden Point Breakwater. There's an off-leash area along the way, so you can let your dog run and play with other pups (and likely get some love from other dog owners and people using the trail). 

dog victoria
Image: @kaiultaylor on Instagram


Island View Beach

The Saanich Peninsula is known for its incredible east-facing views, where you can often see Mount Baker on a clear day. Island View Beach Regional Park is about a 25-minute drive from the city centre, about halfway up the Peninsula. Stop in at The Roost Farm Bakery and grab a coffee and pastry before heading over to Island View for your walk. 

dog victoria
Image: @flickspicks on Instagram


Looking for more ideas? 

For pet-friendly accommodation, try The Oswego Hotel, Accent Inn Victoria, the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites, the Inn at Laurel Point, the Parkside Hotel & Spa, or the Fairmont Empress. You can also check out a full listing of beaches and lakes, and gardens and parks for more places to take your pooch in Victoria. Please make sure to check all regulations around where and at what times of year dogs are allowed! 

Cover image by @westcoast_koda on Instagram